USC Football: Woody Marks Shines Under New Found Recognition

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A year ago no one was talking about then-Mississippi State running back, Jo’quavious Marks. But after transferring to USC Football this spring, Woody (as he is called) has garnered attention as one of the best running backs in college football.

In a recent NCAA running back ranking Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema put Marks as his 8th-best running back for the 2025 season.

Just a day before Sikkema posted his top-8 college RBs, Shrine Bowl Director of Football Ops and Player Personnel, Eric Galko wrote a feature on Marks via

Analysis of Woody Marks USC Football’s Running Back

“Marks is a compact, hard-nosed runner with outstanding balance of burst and elusiveness coupled with elite patience and vision in the pocket,’ Galko writes, “His strength, lateral ability and patience behind his blocks will make him at worst a rotational RB in the NFL.”

“But what has gotten our scouting team, and NFL evaluators, excited about his future at USC this year and in the NFL is his down ability. Marks was the only P5 running back in the country to be top-5 in both Receiving and Pass Blocking grades per.”

PFF College, and the film backs it up. His efficiency as a route runner and catching ability (along with after catch elusiveness) and his effort and core strength as a pass blocker jump out on film. Marks combination of toughness, high football IQ and complete third-down ability makes him not only a high-floor RB prospect for NFL teams, but speak to his potential to be a complete, three-down starting running back in the NFL with a strong final season at USC.”

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Mississippi State
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In each of his two seasons as head coach of USC Football, Lincoln Riley has had an 800+ yard rusher. Last year MarShawn Lloyd rushed 116 times for 820 yards. In 2022, Travis Dye rushed for 884 on 145 carries. Marks 121 times for 573 yards, although that took place in just nine games.

Marks will likely see an uptick in touches, even more than Dye or Lloyd. They split time in the backfield with Austin Jones. Marks won’t have the luxury of sharing the backfield. He is the only upperclassman on the roster. The only other running back on the roster with any in-game experience is Quinten Joyner and he has only played 21 snaps at the position.

USC Football Transfer Woody Marks
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